Friday, Nov. 18 2005

Rams Park has been full of surprises this season, and Friday was no exception.
Forty-five minutes into Fridays practice, ailing head coach Mike Martz
strolled into the teams indoor facility and watched the team work out for half
an hour.

It was a little surprising, running back Steven Jackson said.

Yeah, were just going through the day, and all of a sudden here he comes,
offensive lineman Blaine Saipaia said. Hes standing there talking to coaches.

Martz said hello to several players, among them running back Marshall Faulk and
center Andy McCollum. He shook hands with several team officials, but spent
most of his time chatting with interim head coach Joe Vitt.

Martz joked briefly with reporters on his way out the door, but took no
questions, and headed home. Martz has been sidelined for the past four games
because of a bacterial infection of the heart known as endocarditis.

Although Martz has taken a leave of absence for the rest of the season, he also
spoke to the team Monday.

Im sure he misses it, said offensive lineman Larry Turner. I know if I was
the head coach, I know Id miss it too. So Im just hoping he can get healthy,
and get back to doing what he loves to do.